The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is here to once again set the photography benchmark in the smartphone industry. The flagship brings a number of imaging innovations and the current best possible hardware. Better yet, unlike the 12S Ultra, the 13 Ultra will launch globally.
Let’s start with the cameras, which are the focus of this phone. Four cameras are on the back, done in collaboration with Leica and sitting under a unified glass dome that Xiaomi calls the Leica Vario-Summicron 1:1.8-3.0/12-120 ASPH lens.
The primary camera has a 50MP 1-inch IMX989 sensor and a 23mm optically-stabilized lens with a physical, two-step aperture that allows for f/1.9 opening for the shallowest depth of field (read blur or bokeh), and f/4.0 for a sharper image. The sensor bins 1.6µm pixels 4-to-1 resulting in 12.5MP images with huge 3.2µm individual pixels.
The Xiaomi 13 Ultra in Black and Green
The other three cameras all use the new 50MP IMX858 sensor, which measures a respectable 1/2.51″. They are a 75mm f/1.8 OIS 3.2x mid-range zoom, a 5x 120mm camera with a new brighter f/3.0 lens, and a 12mm f/1.8 autofocusing ultrawide with 5cm macro focusing capabilities. Using in-sensor-zoom technology, the 13 Ultra also offers a 2x 46mm and 10x 240mm mode option.
The 32MP f/2.0 front camera has fixed focus and will bin pixels 4-to-1 for 8MP final shots.
The innovation doesn’t end on the physical side. Xiaomi and Leica have brought a number of impressive features to the 13 Ultra. First off, as with other Leica-branded Xiaomi cameras, there are two camera color science modes – Leica Vibrant and Leica Authentic.
Then there’s a new 50MP UltraRAW mode for the main camera, which provides 14-bit DNG files with built-in multi-frame sharpening, noise reduction, and dynamic range adjustment for additional tweaking. Adobe will provide a custom camera profile for Lightroom.
There’s one neat feature tailor-made for aspiring street photographers, called Fast Shot mode. It allows you to take the focusing time out of taking a shot by setting a predetermined focusing distance. Fast Shot will then snap a photo in just 0.8s.
Like its predecessor, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra comes with a camera-inspired design with a circular lens-like camera module, a metal frame, and a back panel clad in leather (on the Black and Green model). Specifically, antibacterial nanotech silicon leather that Xiaomi says will reach a 99% bacterial inhibition rate. The upper portion of the rear panel is slightly elevated to accentuate the camera module.
Upfront, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra packs a 6.73-inch 3200x1440px AMOLED screen with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and an up to 240Hz touch sampling rate. Xiaomi says the panel can reach as high as 2600 nits of brightness.
The phone uses the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip with up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM. You’ll be able to get it in 12/256GB, 16/512GB, and 16GB/1TB – that’s UFS 4.0 storage, naturally.
The Snapdragon chip is cooled by Xiaomi’s self-developer Loo LiquidCool tech, using an aerospace-grade toroidal cooling and a vapor chamber.
Inside, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra packs a 5,000mAh battery with 90W wired and 50W wireless charging support. Battery life and charging will be monitored by Xiaomi’s Surge P2 and Surge G1 custom chips.
The 13 Ultra will be available in Black, Olive Green, and White, starting in China this month. Prices are CNY 5,999 for the 12/256GB (€795, INR 71,500, converted), CNY 6,499 for a 16/512GB (€861, INR 77,500, converted), and CNY 7,299 for the 16GB/1TB (€690, INR 87,000, converted). Xiaomi says the phone is coming to various international markets in the next few months.